What's hot: This is the best year for Cubera snapper in memory. Our divers are still seeing these wary big-tooth snapper on wrecks from 40 feet deep to 190 feet. Half a dozen of our divers have taken Cuberas of more than 80 pounds, and many more have taken these snapper in the 40- to 80-pound range. Hogfish are still strong in all depths, and most divers aren't having trouble getting their daily limit. Gag grouper are still close to shore. Their movements are almost a month behind. The cold thermocline is dominating almost all spots, and the movement toward deeper water is just starting.
What's not: Amberjack are getting smaller as bigger fish head to deeper water. Legal-size amberjack sometimes are still on wrecks and springs in 100 feet and deeper. Keeper-size triggerfish are hard to find.
Nice catch: Carl French of Lutz had a great day on a wreck 40 miles west of Clearwater, landing a 100-pound Cubera snapper. The trip was a Father's Day celebration from his daughter, Joyce French-Hannaseck of Narcosis Scuba in Tarpon Springs.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 344-3483.